This post is a part of a series.
This is the main post
these are supporting posts
- The purpose of Moses’ miracles in Egypt
- The purpose of Jesus Christ’s miracles
- List of Jesus’ miracles
- 44 prophecies about Jesus Christ were fulfilled
- God identified Himself with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on His cross
- Replacement theology
After writing about the completed work of Jesus Christ in this post I began to wonder about the whole brouhaha surrounding Replacement Theology. I felt led to read up about it today. So I did.
What a mish mash of conflicting views and different arguments. It’s a lot like the whole 666 Anti-christ and end times and rapture nonsense. satan is having a field day twisting scripture and encouraging hatred between the people of God.
Two things to consider
The scriptures are plainly clear on two issues… and for me there are only two issues to consider.
- The “people of God” include Jews and Gentiles, because the promise God made to Abraham and repeatedly after that was for all the nations, not just one nation. There is no replacement, God has been focussed on gathering both Jews and Gentiles into His “people of God”. Salvation included many non-Jews and they were saved because of faith. It was because of faith that Abraham was counted as righteous. Now many thousand of years later it is still faith (not race or culture) which brings righteousness and salvation.
- God promised to restore Israel – the actual descendants – (Ezekiel 36:24-32) and He is doing this right now at this time in world history. A country was born in a day (14 May 1948) just as Isaiah said (Isaiah 66:7-8 and Ezekiel 37:10-14) and Amos (Amos 9:14-15) .
The modern day restoration of the descendants of Abraham
Take a moment to deeply consider this profound event. They were a group of people with no home of their own for almost 2000 years, but they now have a home, that is a miracle.
By the grace of God their language survived and flourishes today…
One language dies every 14 days.
By the next century nearly half of the roughly 7,000 languages spoken on Earth will likely disappear, as communities abandon native tongues in favor of English, Mandarin, or Spanish. – National Geographic
Now just 50 years later… having founded a country with absolutely nothing… by the grace of God…
Israel had more companies listed in 2012 on the NASDAQ stock exchange than any country outside the United States, save China – Wikipedia
In just 50 years? Wow.
THAT story (God gives them land, protects and restores their language and blesses them with a prosperous economy) is nothing less than a modern day miracle.
Whose land is it?
The Land of Canaan, renamed Israel by the Lord, was given by God to Abraham and his descendants as an everlasting possession.
Genesis 12:7 “The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.'”
Genesis 13:15 “for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever.”
Genesis 15:18, “To your descendants I have given this land.”
This land was given only to Isaac’s son, Jacob, and his descendants, not to any of the other children.
Do Muslim people have a claim to this land?
In Genesis 36:6-9, Esau took his descendants and all his possessions and went to another land away from his brother Jacob. Esau lived in the hill country of Seir. The Bible tells us that Esau is Edom. It specifically tells us that the descendants of Esau are the Edomites, and Israel was not their land.
After Sarah died, Abraham had six more sons by Keturah, as well as others by his concubines, who are ancestors of many of the Arab peoples today. However, the covenant of the Land was not for them:
“Now Abraham gave all he had to Isaac; but to the sons of his concubines, Abraham gave gifts while he was still living and sent them away from his son Isaac eastward, to the land of the east” (Genesis 25:5-6).
Note that Abraham even sent these sons away from the Land of Canaan.
And look at this recent news…
A sheikh from Jordan’s prominent Adwan tribe caused a stir recently when he said that Israel belongs to the Jews, and that Palestinian claims to the territory are false.
Sheikh Ahmed Aladoan of Amman, who made the remarks on his Facebook page, based his assertions on the Koran. In a post earlier this month he said that those who “distort the word of the Koran” are liars, and questioned the origins of the word Palestine.
“Allah is the protector of the Children of Israel,” he insisted, also saying that there was no such place as Palestine.
One people of God
What does the word “Israel” mean?
It is a combination of two Hebrew morphemes: “ysr” and “el”.
While the word “El” undoubtedly means “god” (when added at the end of the combination it means “of god”, “with god”, “to god” etc), the morpheme “ysr” have several meanings:
- It might come from the root S.R.R, in the meaning of “rule”, “prince”, thus the whole name means “he who rules with god” (“thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed”, Genesis 32:28 KJV).
- It might come from the same root (S.R.R) in the meaning of “strive” or “struggle”, thus it all means “he who struggles god”, referring to the event in which his name was changed.
- It might come from the root Y.SH.R, means “straight”, “honest” or “righteous man”, thus the name means “honest man of god”, or something like that.
Regardless of the exact meaning… to struggle, to rule or to be honest… Israel essentially means “People of God”.
The Old Testament “People of God” often included Gentiles. One notable example was Ruth, the Moabite woman, who returned to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law Naomi, a Jew. Hear the words of this Gentile, “Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” Ruth, a Gentile, was the great-grandmother of King David. Yes, this Gentile, along with others, were in the lineage of the messiah, Jesus.
The “People of God” in the Old Testament were predominantly Jewish but surely included Gentiles. – Source
Being a “light to the Gentiles” was God’s original purpose for the Jews and Jesus succeeded where they had failed. – Source
But not all of “Israel” is Israel
“For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.” – Rom 9:6
Grafted in… Who is the root?
Ive heard people say that Gentiles are grafted into the root and that the root are the Jews. This is not the case. Jesus Christ described Himself (God) as the root into which branches are connected.
John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener”
A second clarification of who is the root and Who is the branches can be found in Rom 11:23
And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. – Rom 11:23
If the Jews were “the root” (into which Gentiles are grafted), then the Jews would not be able to be “cut off” and they would not be able to be “grafted in” again.
God Himself, or the Messiah Jesus Christ, is the root or the vine into which we all are connected.
It can be a bit confusing IF you let it become confusing.
There only two major issues to be aware of IMO…
First key issue
There is a single people of God which God always purposed to reach…
- At first He created all of humanity through Adam.
- Then He started again by creating all of humanity through Noah after the flood wiped out all other people and cultures etc.
- Then God chose a Abram who was an idolater (Joshua 24:2) living in Ur in modern day Iraq. God said to Abraham that He wanted to bless “all nations” through him (Gen 22:18).
This intention to reach all people is constantly present throughout the covenants and the prophecies God gives through His prophets.
4 Gentile women were in Jesus Christ’s geneolgy: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. God sent Jonah to warn the Gentiles in Nineveh (Jonah 3:1).
The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him. All the families of the nations will bow down before him. – Psalm 22:27
Even when God afflicted Egypt with the plagues His intention was to reach all of the Earth
Exodus 9:14, 16 – I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth … I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth
This “peculiar people” of Israelites were meant to make surrounding nations jealous and be light to the nations surrounding them (ie the whole world).
The bottom line is that God’s intention was always right from the beginning (Adam and Eve) targeting all the nations. The whole world.
Unfortunately Israel was not co-operative (or faithful) to God. Then through Isaiah and Hosea other prophets God said He will pursue His intentions in other ways.
The intention is clear… that all nations be saved…
I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb – Rev 7:9
Second key issue
But no matter how God pursued His intentions to reach all people… through Jews or through Gentiles… it does not affect His promises made to the descendants of Abraham.
He swore to give them that land and it’s what He intends to do and it’s what He is doing now. Although He drove them into the world, He nevertheless kept their culture alive, He kept their language alive and He kept them alive. He is spectacularly restoring them right now.
If you are interested in learning more then read Zechariah 12 and 13 because it offers a tantalizing look into Israel’s near future. You can also read Isaiah to get a glimpse of the wonderful things He has in store for them.
In this article I have made use of these three posts:
- 12 Keys To Understanding Israel In The Bible – by Clarence H. Wagner Jr. or the Google Cache version or download the pdf
- Replacement Theology or download the pdf
- Replacement Theology – ICEJ or download the pdf